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Inquest into death of eight Indians in M1 road crash set to open


Eight people died at the scene of the accident.
Eight people died at the scene of the accident.

An inquest into the deaths of eight Indians killed recently in one of the UK’s worst road accidents in decades is set to open in Milton Keynes tomorrow, a statement said today.

All eight, believed to be Indians and British Indians, will be formally identified by the coroner during the proceedings at Crownhill Crematorium site, Dansteed Way, before the bodies being released to relatives, many of whom have travelled from India.

“The detailed process of identifying the eight bodies recovered from the scene of the M1 incident has now been completed and all have been identified. Post-mortem examinations have also been completed to confirm the medical cause of death,” a statement from the office of the Coroner of Milton Keynes said.

The Senior Coroner for Milton Keynes will issue death certificates “as to the fact of death” and at the same time “release the bodies to the families”, it said.

Three Wipro employees Karthikeyan Ramasubramaniyam Pugalur, Rishi Rajeev Kumar and Vivek Bhaskaran have already been identified by the Indian software company as among those killed in the August 26 deadly accident on a highway in Buckinghamshire when the mini bus they were travelling in got crushed between two large trucks.

Two lorry drivers Ryszard Masierak and David Wagstaff have since been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and are set to appear in court later this month.

Masierak has also been charged with being almost twice the legal drink drive limit at the time of the crash.

Thames Valley Police said they were continuing to support the families of those who died in the fatal collision on the M1 motorway near Newport Pagnell.

“Specially trained family liaison officers are continuing to update and inform the relatives of the eight people who died in the collision involving three vehicles,” a police statement said.

Four people were taken to hospital following the collision with serious injuries, three of whom were in life- threatening conditions, and they all remain in hospital.

A man in his thirties, Wipro employee Mano Ranjan Panneerselvam, remains in critical condition; two women his wife aged in her thirties and mother in her fifties remain in serious but stable conditions; and a four-year-old girl also remains in a serious but stable condition.

The girl identified in media reports as Shravathi Ramasubramanian has lost both her parents in the accident and her relatives from India have flown down to be at her bedside at Birmingham Children’s hospital.

Her father Karthikeyan had moved with his daughter and wife Lavanya from India to Nottingham in January with Wipro.

The Bengaluru-headquartered company said it would be assisting the families in repatriating the bodies.

“We will continue to provide all assistance to the families in this hour of grief,” a spokesperson said.

Cyriac Joseph, the Kerala-born owner of Nottingham- based ABC Travels and driver of the minibus, was also among those who lost their lives in the highway pile-up.

The 52-year-old had been hired to take the group from Nottingham to London to set off on a European holiday.